Those who were following the negotiations for a “boutique” Supermaxi on the north side of the historic district were disappointed to hear that the city planning committee rejected the project. What was odd is that before its final decision, the committee had seemed enthusiastic about the project and worked with developers on plans for an “up-scale, intimate, neighborhood store.”
What gives? It turns out that a former Cuenca mayor lives across the street from the proposed store site. Nuff said.
The north side of the district, by the way, is getting attention not only from Supermaxi but from other businesses and developers. Many see big opportunities in the neighborhood as the economy improves. The thinking is that with the development of Parque Libertad, a new hotel, the hat museum, and the (someday) completion of the tranvía, this long-neglected barrio will be the place to be. One believer is a Brit who recently bought three houses between Pio Bravo and Vega Muñoz.
The latest drug news
A reader sent in the following note regarding drug prescriptions on the Social Security health care plan
The new procedure is that you have to go and see an IESS doctor every 90 days and obtain a new script for ongoing meds. I was referred to the IESS pharmacy on Bolivar y Borrero. Do note though, that prescriptions will only be filled within three work days, otherwise they disappear from the system.
We verified the information with a local expat health care facilitator.
Another reader wrote to say it’s possible to get around the requirement for a doctor’s prescription for medicines that require them (most do not) in local drug stores. The trick? The pharmacist or clerk simply needs to recognize you as a regular customer. “The pharmacists understand that I shouldn’t have to pay for a doctor’s visit every time I need a refill on meds I’ve taken for years,” she writes. She says she uses Cruz Azul and Pharmacy’s.
Uptight fashion, but not outta sight
Walking the streets of Cuenca, I am continually amazed at the way women pour themselves into stretchy pants (called chicle, or chewing gum, by the locals). Some fit in quite fetchingly but most come up short, and then there are those outright grotestqueries that force me to avert my stare. I notice that a few aging gringas are getting into the tight-fit act, usually with less than fetching results. I am reminded of the old saw: “Spandex is a privilege, not a right.”
Speaking of tight pants and fashion, how much butt is too much butt? In Cuenca I hear big behinds referred to as Bogota Booty but I knew it as Ghetto Booty back in Jersey. Is there a limit? I defer the guys on this one. Fanny enlargements rank number one in plastic surgeries in Colombia and number two in Ecuador.
Passport services move to the Civil Registry
In January 2017, all Ecuadorian passport services will move from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ immigration division to the Civil Registry. Details have not been released but the change could affect expats applying for citizenship. The transfer is the result of an order from President Correa — specifically, Executive Decree 1239 signed November 25, for those of you who keep track of such things.
Please send tips, rumors and alt news concerning expats and Ecuadorians, no matter how outrageous, to Alice at firstname.lastname@example.org, “attn: Alice.” She will look into them, attempt to verify, and report items that are newsworthy or have entertainment value.